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Jacinda Ardern’s speech to the Labour Conference

Written By: - Date published: 1:46 pm, November 6th, 2021 - 76 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern, labour - Tags:

Kei aku nui, kei aku rahi, tena koutou katoa

I’m going to start with something that I never thought I would say at a Labour Party conference.

I miss remits.

I miss remits, because they are indicative of something else that I know we have all missed of late, and that is being face to face with our friends, families, and Party members across the country.

No one knows that more than our whanau in Tamaki Makaurau.

So to you especially I want to begin by saying nga mihi kia kotou katoa. Thank you.

For what will feel like endless weeks now, you have carried a burden on behalf of the rest of the country. You have maintained a border, stayed home, and sacrificed much to protect your community, but also to protect the rest of Aotearoa New Zealand.

I know at times that will have been an extraordinarily lonely place to be. But please never doubt that what you have done has had a profound impact on New Zealand.

I have talked before at conferences about the many letters that I receive in this job. It’s one of the privileges of being Prime Minister in a country of our size. So many of the letters I get start with “I doubt you’ll ever read this, but…..”

I remember many of these letters. One that I received in the middle of the pandemic has stayed with me. It was from an intensive care Doctor, and they simply wrote “during this pandemic, you have all saved more lives than I will in my entire career.”

I never saw that letter as directed at me. I saw that letter directed at us. Because none of what we have done, was ever achieved by one, but by many. An entire team of five million.

From the day COVID arrived on our shores everything we have done has been about protecting New Zealanders lives and livelihoods.

Collectively we have seen fewer cases, hospitalisations and deaths than any other country in the OECD.

We have also seen an economy that has done more than survive, but in fact has grown and kept people in jobs; just this week delivering the lowest unemployment on record.

But none of that is to say that it has been without cost. It has had a huge toll on people and businesses, especially in recent months. But I know that we have it in us to continue to move forward through this tough transition, into a new phase.

And so to all of New Zealand, but especially Auckland I say – he rā ki tua, better times are coming.

Over the coming weeks, we will see the level of protection in our communities increase as more people are vaccinated. In fact we’re on track to have amongst the highest vaccination rates in the world, already having overtaken the likes of Australia the US, the UK, France, Germany and Ireland.

And that brings with it the opportunity to transition to the new COVID protection framework. That new system, will mean more certainty for businesses that they can stay open. It will mean that not every COVID case will trigger the anxiety of sudden lock downs, but it will also mean that we continue to treat COVID seriously and take measures to protect people from it.

It is a plan firmly rooted in a view that we can carve our own path, and our own response. One that is right for New Zealand and our people.

Once these changes are bedded in, they then gives us the chance to change some of our other settings, in a careful and considered way. We will look to our international borders, using home isolation as a way to reunite more kiwis with their loved ones, taking pressure off MIQ.

Over time, we’ll then have the chance to open up more broadly, and welcome back those we have been so used to sharing our hospitality and nation with.

Life may be different for a time. But it can and will feel more familiar again. And after so much disruption, so much anxiety, everyone deserves that.

And so in the meantime, we continue to be steadfast in our response, which has begun to tilt towards vaccination over restriction.

Because we’re a Labour Government, we will focus on our most vulnerable and also accelerate Maōri vaccination rates. We will protect our health system. We will keep adapting and evolving but we will always first and foremost protect lives and livelihoods.

That is the measure of good government. And it’s a measure of a Labour Government.

But there is another measure.

And that’s what we do in spite of these tough times.

COVID didn’t make any of our existing challenges go away. In fact it made some of them worse. But despite taking on the worst health and economic challenge of our lifetimes, we have not stopped addressing the housing crisis, child poverty, water quality or climate change – just to name a few.

Since we’ve been in office, we’ve created 8,591 public housing spaces with thousands more on the way.

We’re reforming the RMA to ramp up building work.

We’ve overseen insulation and heating for more than 38,000 homes meaning more families can stay warm and dry.

We’ve worked hard to build a whole new level of primary mental health care with our record investment in frontline services seeing around 10,000 people every month accessing support at their trusted local health clinic.

We’ve made doctors’ visits cheaper for 600,000 New Zealanders and we’re fixing up our hospitals and training more ICU nurses.

We made the largest boost to main benefit rates in a generation and finally turned around those 1991 cuts.

We introduced free and healthy lunches in schools, and 200,000 children have benefitted from them this year.

And under the steady hand of Grant Robertson, who runs an economy that looks after everyone, GDP is up and unemployment is down, our debt is amongst the lowest levels in the OECD, and we’ve experienced record export growth. Growth that will only continue with our new UK FTA.

And while we may have unemployment rates at the lowest levels in more than a decade, we have plans to continue to rebuild and recover, with $57 billion invested in infrastructure alone ready to roll out over the next five years.

But as we undertake that rebuild, it is both our people AND our environment that must sit at the centre. Through initiatives like jobs for Nature we are improving pest control and restoring waterways. But we need to make systemic changes for our environment too.

That’s what three waters is about.

In Three Waters, we’re fixing crumbling water pipes that without change will lead to ballooning costs for ratepayers, decreased water quality, and unsustainable sewage discharge. The status quo is not an option.

To leave the situation as it is, is to condemn the already 34,000 kiwis who get sick from water each year, to keep getting sick.

It is to say to the first home buyer that the lack of infrastructure underground will continue to get in the way of affordable home ownership options now and in the future.

And it tells those that care for our environment and want to swim at our beaches that we’ll keep seeing over 3,000 incidents of sewage discharge into our water ways every year.

To those who want to cancel three waters, to them I say this – the problem is clear, the status quo is not an option. If your concern is losing public ownership – then commit to retain these assets in public ownership, as we have, and support the legislation to lock that in.

But don’t pretend there isn’t a problem.

But this is not the only challenge to the environment where the status quo is not an option.

As we come together today, so too have world leaders convened for COP26 in Glasgow. Thankfully for the most part, we have moved on from a time where climate change itself is questioned, to a period where we must all be held to account over both our ambition and our action.

We have a lot of work to do. But I remain incredibly proud to have presided over a government that has done more in four years than previous governments combined. But that has been born out of necessity.

We have but a short window to do what is required to meet our 1.5 degree commitments.

I’m not able to attend COP this year. Our role as chair of APEC has prevented me from standing alongside our pacific neighbours in advocating for our region, and being held to account ourselves. But if I was there, and asked the question “what has your government done?”

This is what I would say:

First, we built the foundations. We passed the landmark Zero Carbon Act, established the Climate Commission, and established our carbon budgets.

Now we’re taking the next steps.

We want to be ambitious. We’ve set a goal for 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and we’re investing in the initiatives to help us get there.

We want our public sector to be carbon neutral by 2025 and we’re setting up the programmes to get there too.

But our big problems lie in the fact we produce food, process it, and the way we get around.

And that’s why we’ve invested in research to reduce agricultural methane, and why we have a world first agreement with our farmers to both price and reduce our agricultural emissions.

And it’s why we have increased public transport spending by 40%, introduced a clean car standard and incentivised low and no emissions vehicles.

But I would also explain that while there are some areas like transport where we are catching up, there are some areas where we will lead too. That in fact we are the first country in the world to pass a law that will ensure financial organisations disclose and ultimately act on climate related risks and opportunities. And that we continue to be a leading advocate internationally for the removal of fossil fuel subsidies.

And I would finish with a pledge, that we would do our bit. Which is why in the last few weeks alone we have quadrupled our climate finance commitment to the most vulnerable countries to $1.3 billion over four years, and increased our contribution to the global effort to tackle climate change by reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030.

We have more to do, no doubt. But when we look back on this COP, and in fact, as we look back on our nuclear free moment, I want to know that we did everything we could.

As I said at the beginning though, so much of government is about what you do in spite of what is going on around you. And no matter what the day to day has brought, the motivation for this Labour government and for me has not changed. It is people. And especially, our children.

Here, there is much we have done, and much left to do. But we know that the issue of child poverty especially is one that has been made even worse as a result of COVID.

Lock downs hit everyone, but especially those who have the least.

I’m proud to have been part of the Labour family that introduced the Working for Families system. At the time it was the most significant change to children’s policy in decades, and made a massive difference to child poverty. It gave us a foundation to build upon, and we have.

When we came into office, we introduced the Best Start tax credit, a payment that recognised that the first 1000 days of a child’s life is critical, and gave extra support to families with new borns. We increased the family tax credit. We removed the hours test for the in work tax credit. And we lifted the rates of the Orphans Benefit, the Unsupported Childs Benefit and the Foster Care Allowance. Taken as a whole, these changes helped to lift 43,300 children out of poverty, and have given families more choices.

And we need to keep going.

We have made commitments to halve child poverty over 10 years. Since we took office we have made positive progress on all 9 of the child poverty indicators we have set. We have turned around stats that showed that children were doing worse, not better. But we will never say the job is done. And every change we make here, large or small, will make a difference.

And here, I want to share with you the next change we’re making.

To recognise the impact of COVID on families, and the increased cost of living, we are increasing the Family Tax credit so that 346,000 families will be better off by an average of $20 a week.

The family tax credit was due to be CPI adjusted.

But we have added an additional investment of $272 million over four years to boost the amount it will be increased, and made changes to the abatement rate from 25% to 27% to reach those who need it most.

As a result, the eldest child rate for the Family Tax Credit will increase by $14.69 per week, and the subsequent child rate will increase by $12.83 per week.

Because of our additional investment an estimated 6,000 children will be lifted out of poverty.

And while we lifted the rates of the Orphans benefit, and Unsupported Child Benefit and the Foster Care Allowance in 2020 by $25, we will do so again by an extra $5 a week. The Best Start payment will also increase by the same amount.

As a result of this package hundreds of thousands of families will have a meaningful boost to their incomes from April of next year.

To Carmel Sepuloni, and David Parker. Thank you in particular for your work on this issue. It is just one extra thing we can do for families in this tough time.

I want to finish today where I started. And that is by acknowledging the Labour team gathered together remotely today. You’ll notice my address to you is a little shorter than usual. That’s because in this zoom world, and while we are at a greater distance from one another, we wanted to try and build in the things we are missing the most. Interaction, and a good remit or two.

But I can’t and won’t wrap without a personal message of thanks.

One thing I have noticed in recent times in this job, is that when you have a chance to talk to another world leader, the conversation quickly turns to how difficult the last twelve months have been. It’s a shared experience for all of us. No one has been unaffected. In fact, bi laterals run the risk of becoming group therapy. But while this time may be a unique one, I have never, ever felt alone. None of the cabinet, and caucus have.

You are hugely valued members of our team of 5 million. We wouldn’t be here, sharing some of the steps we have taken in our journey in recent times, or the journey we are aiming for in the future, were it not for the role you played in getting us here, and keeping us motivated once we arrived.

In fact none of us in parliament reached these privileged roles on our own. Before we were in caucus, we were in LECs, we were volunteers. And we are here because of the faith and belief you had in us to represent you in parliament. So on behalf of caucus, thank you. We hope we have, and continue to make you proud.

Me mahi tahi tātou mo te oranga o te katoa.

76 comments on “Jacinda Ardern’s speech to the Labour Conference ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    From RNZ:

    "Almost 350,000 families will get an extra $20 a week from April next year, lifting 6000 more children out of poverty, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

    Ardern has announced a new support package to help families hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    She outlined the increases while giving the keynote speech at the Labour Party's first national conference since its triumph at the general election in October 2020."

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/455088/the-fair-thing-to-do-government-to-increase-payments-to-struggling-families

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    I thought she articulated that well. Couldn't see any point to criticise. Trad Labour framing came through loud & clear – I wonder how effective it will be in stopping the slide in Labour support in the polls. I suppose a cynic would observe that preaching to the converted is what a PM does at a party conference.

    Will this managerial style win hearts & minds outside the party? Perhaps, if their Covid management suffices to stem doubts arising in recent times…

    • Louis 2.1

      Dennis Frank, dont all leaders preach to the converted at political party conferences? and its Judith Collins and it's the National party that's sliding down in the polls, David Seymour is loving it.

  3. Castro 3

    …but house prices are only going up… it's what Kiwis expect…

  4. Ad 4

    This speech doesn't tell me where we are going or where we can go.

    It's a commiseration, followed by a list of adjustments.

    It is quite nonsensical that at the very end she would thank LEC's and members when she's just further cut off any use they have. They are now nothing but a fanning audience.

    • left for dead 4.1

      That comment I would agree with.We worked hard to have members participation and like the UK labour party they think we a too stupid to understand this political game.Is that why our politicians are to slow in moving us forward,ie CC or poverty.Our politicians need some dirt under their finger nails,sadly with party membership decining,the business class will slip them more money and further the gap in Democracy.

      I need a lie down.

  5. Reality 5

    Whatever critics say, and no matter what is swirling around her, our PM's humility and personal decency always shine through. Whatever progress is made she never loses sight that there is always more to be done.

    So much of her time since coming into office has been taken up with the Christchurch shooter's murderous rampage, the White Island eruption and now Covid which is causing so much upheaval and uncertainty. Along with all of that, the day to day government functions still have to be attended to.

    Thank you Prime Minister.

    • Kat 5.1

      Yes and that personal decency is the guiding light. I challenge anyone to find any comment the PM has made that speaks disparagingly of anyone, not even her fiercest political rivals. And thats what her rivals want her to do, get low and trade barbs with people on the street. Thats not our PM's style and it spins them out.

      • Gezza 5.1.1

        .
        🤔
        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/01/new-zealand-jacinda-ardern-opposition-judith-collins-leader-karen

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/election-2020-judith-collins-disgusted-after-jacinda-arderns-dig-over-her-past-with-the-sfo/J6EYLCP3ZPVGR5GFZ5EFYHMVW4/

        And, as someone who sometimes watches Question Time, I can say our PM is not averse to heartily agreeing with the odd bit of personal sledging delivered sideways by a senior flunky MP.

        Let’s not get too carried away with canonising her.

        • Louis 5.1.1.1

          It's not about canonising the PM, Kat raised a valid point. Considering the vitriol that's hurled at the PM, aptly described by Anne @ 11.2 your 2 examples are incredibly tame in comparison, nothing in the nature that the PM has to endure on a daily basis.

          "Ardern said she disagreed with “the member’s [Collins’] statement on Twitter that somehow it will become illegal to call someone a ‘Karen’.”

          That is absolutely incorrect, and I apologise – that means these laws will not protect that member [Collins] from such a claim.”

          "Interesting to hear now … there's obviously a little history there with the Opposition leader and the SFO," she said.

          "As a previous minister, her engagement with the SFO led to her job loss."

          The PM was stating a fact.

          https://www.interest.co.nz/news/71717/judith-collins-resigns-after-revelation-slater-email-saying-she-was-gunning-feeley

          The inquiry to clear Collins was narrow

          3. Collins wasn’t ‘cleared’ of Dirty Politics

          "Collins says she was cleared of everything written about her in Dirty Politics. This is not even slightly true. In fact there was just some interestingly tricky politics. After Dirty Politics was published in 2014 (read the relevant chapter here), National was concerned about falling support and decided to stem the losses by removing Judith Collins from her ministerial post. But the party did not want to give credibility to the book by saying it was the reason for her demotion. Instead the prime minister’s staff managed to obtain a new email, which had nothing to do with the book, about Collins, Slater and a campaign to smear the Serious Fraud Office head. It was on the basis of this separate email that Collins had to step down. After the election an inquiry cleared her of involvement in the SFO smear and she returned to cabinet – but the inquiry had not cleared her of anything in the book. Meanwhile Collins continued to refuse to answer questions about her long-term collaboration with Slater.

          When she was elected National Party leader last week, Slater tweeted “At last. So pleased for my good friend @JudithCollinsMP. She has long deserved to be leader of National.”

          https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/20-07-2020/nicky-hager-five-reasons-why-judith-collins-wont-be-prime-minister/

      • Louis 5.1.2

        +1 Kat

    • Louis 5.2

      +1 Reality

  6. weka 6

    Anything about disabled people on benefits?

  7. Descendant Of Smith 7

    "We made the largest boost to main benefit rates in a generation and finally turned around those 1991 cuts."

    The big lie. They haven't turned around the cuts made as a result of moving the youth rate to age 24 from 18 and nor have they turned around the cuts from de-linking benefit rates to the CPI instead of the average wage.

    The $20-00 per week over time had the smallest impact of all.

    • weka 7.1

      did anyone do the final assessment of how many beneficiaries got the actual $20 vs those that got part, sometimes a small part, of it due to the clawback on the supplementaries?

    • Descendant Of Smith 7.2

      I'd also add that by keeping the youth rates up to 25 so artificially low and at the same time lifting and lifting the money for those with children it plays right into the right wing trope of people having babies to get more money.

      (In reality it simply means greater inability and inclination of fathers to support the mainly mothers raising those children.)

  8. DukeEll 8

    Big fucking woop. Meaningless nothings from the prime minister show just how incoherent this government has become. Half way through our first ever majority government and this is the best they have in the face of all the challenges NZ presently faces?

  9. higherstandard 9

    The party faithful will lap it all up.

    For most though .. just a load of blah, blah ,blah

  10. Cricklewood 10

    Um the housing crisis has got a whole lot worse? If "addressing" it means record increases in prices and rents nationwide they're done a sterling job.

  11. Patricia Bremner 11

    People here and at large will continue their partisan stance. Currently nothing being done will be enough for some, (too little too late) and for others too much is being done to alter their way of life, (She's a tyrant).

    We are in the grip of a terrible dilemma, keep closed and ruin lives, open and tolerate high numbers of delta cases and deaths.

    This term Jacinda Ardern has faced name calling and heckling of the worst kind. Social spaces have been used to say diabolical rubbish about her and the health and any other response.

    Some say this goes with the territory and is "freedom of speech" Has anyone here ever tried to do their job with someone screaming in their face? Any other Leader, security would have stepped in, and given the man in question had a record of making threats previously, I am aghast he got that close.

    Huge efforts have been made to keep people healthy and in work. In most other crises the poor really have been left behind. Each year this Government has made efforts to improve their lives. I have read here that they are "tinkering at the margins". No effort will be accepted until parity with pensions is reached I guess.

    Rebuilding the Public Service and State to step up to protect people in any crises is huge. (Even if some are a little late to see they are racist and power hungry? and not trusting Maori agency, ignoring the Courts advice which is sad for Maori)

    With Climate Change beginning to bite we need a clear empathetic Leader, and policies aimed at wellbeing of us and the environment. Someone who Governs for all using the might of the State to protect Public and Environmental Interests.

    Those wanting a calendar of coming events…. Delta Delta Delta B117 variant.

    Sorry, Delta rules until those magic meds arrive, and our population stops being resistant and gets vaccinated if they are able.( Possibly children as well).

    The Government is ordering other vaccines, viral treatments and using every method available to try to win this battle for us in spite of us. The battle will not stop for Christmas as most will be sensible. Sadly this crisis will continue a slow burn, coming in waves over the next 5 years at least. Just my humble opinion.

    • Cricklewood 11.1

      Sure its not easy to be in charge especially currently but key metrics like housing, homelessness and education things are worse not better.

      No govt in our history has overseen such a rapid rise in unaffordability, young people are essentially locked out unless the family can help. This govt has delivered the opposite what was promised in that regard.

      Its very clear that excessive housing costs or housing insecurity have a detrimental effect oñ people and their children. That for me will be this govts lasting legacy.

      • Patricia Bremner 11.1.1

        Housing statistics will show the tax changes next year. Also many of the current builds will be completed then. Some will be delayed until supplies arrive. We actually need the State to offer 20/30 year loans for 2/3/4 bed apartments and townhouses allowing rent to buy or rent for life terms. This is the way to defeat the greed displayed by some investors.. Firms have already pivoted to this type of market. The short term rental market disrupts schooling and work for many, and a settled neighbourhood is needed. This Government did not cause the housing problems. They are a response by people with money looking for a safe asset which grows in value and provides income. When Kiwi saver matures it now may compete for more of that money now tax is more equal between the asset types. Many figures are quoted without inflation adjustment.

        • Cricklewood 11.1.1.1

          The current govt didnt 'cause' the issue but greatly exacerbated it though policy settings and enabling cheap finance. Trouble is the damage is done, there's no winding back 200k+ increases. Might stop increases perhaps see a small drop but thats it. This govt was elected promising to improve affordability not worsen it.

          My solution, A duty or tax, not applicable on say your first home or second if its new build but beyond that a progressive amount of the purchase price say 5 then 10 then 15 percent will stop equity rich investors in their tracks and stop people accumulating many houses. Plenty of options just no political will.

          Secure housing is a basic need for the good of society it should not be an investment vehicle that enriches individual's or banks.

          • Gezza 11.1.1.1.1

            Last sentence, spot on.

            I refuse to believe there is essentially nothing major that can be done to improve housing affordability & come up with cheaper but safe, warm, efficient new build options.

            What we seem to have is a failure of imagination, a failure of government intestinal fortitude, a failure of whole of government coordinated responses, & a failure of government drive.

            • Louis 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Here's a couple of examples of a response:

              • Gezza

                I'm not going to dispute those numbers, Louis, but they are far, far short of the original promise given by Ardern to voters, & misdirecting drivel about The Reset cuts absolutely no ice with me, I'm afraid.

                Given the dire state of housing (& now also renting) affordability some thing (or things) MAJOR are needed to cut thru the crap, red tap, layers of ticket clippers & get thousands more cheaper builds underway in huge numbers.

                I know that Covid makes this doubly or even trebly difficult, for sny government – but I don't think any other party has had such an incompetent spokesperson on housing as Phil Twyford setting themselves up to shoot their own Party's feet off by promising patently unachievable build numbers.

                • Louis

                  Actually no, they are not far, far short. In fact, far exceeded the targets on state house and transitional builds and Kiwibuild that has had a reset was over a 10 year period. There are no targets, it is just build, build, build. Re your second paragraph, the govt are already doing/working on that and dont forget that Labour also inherited a tradie shortage, which they have been addressing as well. Not to mention there are building supply issues. To put some perspective on it, Labour under Helen Clark built 8,000 homes in 9 years, as you can see via the linked tweets, this Labour led govt have exceeded that in less than 4 yrs, remembering it took time to set up the building program from scratch.

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/117846966/fletcher-building-chairmans-praise-for-kiwibuild

                  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/simon-wilson-in-praise-of-governments-kiwibuild-housing-scheme/SP5U4XGB4OAAFXEA6MAZ56I2OM/

                  • McFlock

                    I agree housing is improving, but the problem is the speculative market still dragging housing out of the reach of most people.

                    Also, claiming there were no "targets" makes people who remember "100,000 homes in ten years" or Twyford not having a target of 1,000 homes in the first year feel like you're treating them like fools. There's a positive spin, and then there's wandering off into alternative facts.

                    • Louis

                      I'm not "treating them like fools" I didn't claim there were no targets previously, "far exceeded the targets on state house and transitional builds" but there had been a reset just over 2 years ago.

                    • McFlock

                      However you think you are treating people, even if some notice the cherry-picked period they will still know Labour is "far, far short of the original promise given by Ardern to voters" (emphasis added) and so might well regard your touting of achievements since the reset as assuming they don't have any knowledge of the before-time that Labour daren't speak of.

                    • Louis

                      I didn't assume anything, you did that. "far exceeded the targets on state house and transitional builds" was prior to the reset.

                    • McFlock

                      It's sort of in the terminology. Housing policy wouldn't have needed a "reset" if the original KB setting had been anything close to achieving its targets.

                      What you might or might not assume about readers when you tout Labour's housing policy as an unadulterated success is irrelevant. What it looks like is a pretence that the original promises didn't happen.

                      Kiwibuild alone was supposed to make 100k homes in 10 years. Not "net new builds", new affordable homes. After 3 years it's managed a thousand.

                      So sure, increasing net new homes slightly better than lab5 did is fine. But don't go pretending housing policy has been successful, because they removed the targets when they failed to achieve those targets.

                    • Louis

                      I didn't assume or pretend anything and did not say "Labour's housing policy as an unadulterated success" either. Clearly it's a work in progress and the housing crisis Labour inherited from National would not be solved over night, let alone in just a couple of terms. All plans can be adjusted, if needs be, there is no crime in that and its not even 10 years yet.

              • Patricia Bremner

                Thank you for that uplifting post Louis.yes

                During a pandemic they are doing rather well, and the housing build trend is definitely going in the hoped for direction.

                The money poured into covid support has increased inflation in all asset classes, though banks have worked on an affordability ratio of 6% interest in most cases over the last 18 months according to interest.co.nz and banking friends.

                I have lived through the reverse, where interest rates soared away to 18% as credit crunches bit when money was loaned without thought of affordability, and borrowing became expensive while wages were falling or static.

                Government austerity programmes are bad when they freeze or lower Government spending in all areas with dire results, coupled with banks refusing credit.

                Business shrivelled and died manufacturing and exports slowed. Unemployment soared. Mortgagee sales soared. Those with cash pounced on distressed housing assets as a safe place to park their money. The resulting increase in prices that followed led to an adjustment in the house and business values leading to further economic slowing.

                The response, cut benefits, more added taxes like GST and led to a whole lot of rhetoric about lazy kiwis and belt tightening. Austerity ruled. That hurt the poorest badly, and our Welfare State received a mortal blow. It has been catch-up for income housing and food ever since.

                The opposite has been the monetary support programme during the worst of the covid pandemic.

                However now the Reserve Bank has to protect our housing market from a sudden reversal. Why? Because ANZ has 90 billion in housing debt on their books. They say 3% of those loans are shaky but that is 2.7 billion… no small amount. So stress testing of reserves and mortgages is now in place. New builds are progressively more attractive and first homeowners outpacing all others.

                When systems world wide favour the 1%, 99% are poorer as we live in a finite world. Some of those truths are being bargained at COP.

                Once again, thanks for showing the Government's efforts to bring housing to the people. Twyford came up against the systems and talked before producing. Megan Woods is a different calibre altogether. Perhaps as well as the programme to train tradies, the Government needs to invest in production of materials at home to avoid delays and bottle necks .

                • Louis

                  If you haven't seen the following, you may find this interesting Patricia.

                • Blazer

                  'though banks have worked on an affordability ratio of 6% interest in most cases over the last 18 months according to interest.co.nz and banking friends.'

                  I point blank do not believe this at all!

                  Just like supposed stress tests banks do…all P.R.

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                Those are encouraging numbers, thanks! They certainly are doing better than National at least.

          • Louis 11.1.1.1.2

            Please refer to 11.1.1.1.1.1 for other interesting stats

    • Anne 11.2

      This term Jacinda Ardern has faced name calling and heckling of the worst kind. Social spaces have been used to say diabolical rubbish about her…

      Only one other NZ PM has had to put up with the same kind of behaviour and it was of course Helen Clark. It is no surprise they are two Labour women. It has served to confirm for me something my father told me back in the 1960s. Never trust a Tory (he was English), they are nasty and vindictive. It seems our NZ equivalent are no better.

      • Louis 11.2.1

        That's very true Anne.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.2.2

        Well their were the comments directed towards Sir John Keys daughter that I thought were pretty vile

        • Anne 11.2.2.1

          Well, she did publish – or allowed to be published – some rather provocative photos of herself. I don't for one minute condone the responses, but it could be said she asked for it. The two women PMs – one former, one current – are/were treated to the most vile of abuse simply because they exist.

          • higherstandard 11.2.2.1.1

            [deleted]

            [you’ve been on TS long enough to know that flaming is a bannable offense – weka]

            • weka 11.2.2.1.1.1

              mod note.

            • Anne 11.2.2.1.1.2

              I certainly hope that link was not a direct attack on me because if it was… then it identifies you as one of the creeps that Patricia Bremner was alluding to in her comment @ 11 and I referred to in my reply… and for that matter PR noted concerning John Key's daughter.

              It should also to be noted there is a small coterie of immature types who gather on this site for the purpose of putting down the reasonable comments of certain other commenters for no reason other than to demean them. Its not lost on me that over time most of the targets have been women and I’m assuming the aim of the exercise is to drive them away from the site. Should anyone be wondering what has happened to so many women who used to comment here, you have your answer.

          • Herodotus 11.2.2.1.2

            "..I don't for one minute condone the responses, but it could be said she asked for it…" That sounds like a legal (I consciously use "legal" so as not to bring the comment to a very low level) other defence. eg She was dressed/act provocatively, no one “asks” for it. I thought that all sides of society had progressed past this stage, obviously not all.

            The use of "But" imo counteracts your "condone".

          • Corey Humm 11.2.2.1.3

            It was an art art project.. her politics are radically different than her father's… But because of who her father is you don't condone it but you think she was asking for it.

            Wow. Ardern's family are Tory's, her dad was a Tory her cousin was a Tory mp and her dad was an ambassador and a cop who conducted dawn raids. Change your mind about Ardern? No then why should keys daughter be asking for rape and death threats because of her father's politics.

            Now I don't condone the verbal abuse Ardern gets but since she governs like a Tory is from Tory stock and does nothing while rents, power, and food prices go up perhaps she's asking for it.

            Of course she's not… No one should be abused or threatened Whether they are left wing or right wing.

            Bouncers, waiters, hospo and retail staff get more abuse from the tin foil hats then she ever will. They get spat on, screamed at, assaulted threatened and they don't have security or the money she does..

            • Anne 11.2.2.1.3.1

              Mountain out of a molehill!

              I didn't bring Key's daughter into the picture. Somebody else did. It was not an appropriate comparison.

              I don't go to those online places where vile stuff is found so I didn't see or hear any of it. But I'm not surprised and have nothing but disgust for those that participate in discrediting politicians’ children. The young lady in question took a risk making the photographs public (which I might add I thought were quite artistic) and that was all that I was noting.

      • Patricia Bremner 11.2.3

        yes

    • Louis 11.3

      +1 Patricia Bremner

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    I do get annoyed by assertions of "the lowest unemployment ever" – wasn't much of that in the early eighties, when numbers were kept honestly instead of this one hour per week fiction. Things have improved a little with unlimited access to exploitable labour being momentarily suspended – but as the stories coming out on slaves show, there is quite a lot to be done in this area.

    I quite like Jacinda, a genuinely decent person I think, in an arena not noted for them. But the NZ I knew is badly broken. Where did it go so wrong?

    • Cricklewood 12.1

      There are issues with unemployment stats especially now the nature of work has changed.

      We really need to be looking at an under employed metric.

      • Craig H 12.1.1

        Underutilisation is also at a 15 year low – 9.2%. Agree that this is the key metric though.

    • Craig H 12.2

      Nobody is saying lowest ever are they? Lowest since 2004 maybe, but not ever.

      • Louis 12.2.1

        Lowest in 14 years.

        • Sabine 12.2.1.1

          did we have 0 hour contracts in 2004?

          did we count as employed anyone with 1 hour paid work per week?

          if we did not than that comparison is bs.

            • Sabine 12.2.1.1.1.1

              did we have 0 hour contracts 14 years ago? IF not, than that comparison is not working. We now count 0 hour contracts as people in work, never mind they are at best casual on call 'workers'.

              did we have 1 hour paid is employed 14 years ago, If not than that comparison is not working as we do this now.

              Can you answer questions without having to link to the same stats again and again? I would also like to point out that the biggest hiring as per the STats are in Auckland some 90.000 so. That would be jabbers and contract tracers. Are these in full time employement – open ended, or are these temp contracts?

              Did we count 14 years ago, 30 hours per week as full time employed or were those still the good old times of 40 hours per week is fulltime.

              Just asking, because when the numbers last were massaged beyond believe it was under John Key and i equally did not believe these numbers.

              But never mind, stay faithful, march one, keep moving, surely somewhere there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But these numbers ain't it. And the only ones fooling themselves are those that really really want to be fooled.

              • Louis

                It is your choice to be in denial of the current official stats.

                https://www.stats.govt.nz/indicators/unemployment-rate

                • Molly

                  No, Louis. That's not the point.

                  Definition of 'employed' (and other markers) changed under Paula Bennett during John Key's government so comparing trends from before then is pointless.

                  I would also argue that the retained current definition of one-hour a week work (paid or unpaid in some cases) to be considered employed, is just as pointless. At least, until you can pay 1/40th rent, food, electricity etc.

                  From the data link on your link:

                  Employed –

                  People in the working-age population who, during the reference week, did one of the following:

                  • worked for one hour or more for pay or profit in the context of an employee/employer relationship or self-employment
                  • worked without pay for one hour or more in work which contributed directly to the operation of a farm, business, or professional practice owned or operated by a relative
                  • had a job but were not at work due to own illness or injury, personal or family responsibilities, bad weather or mechanical breakdown, direct involvement in an industrial dispute, or leave or holiday.
                  • Louis

                    I think it was the point and take it up with Stats NZ

                    • Molly

                      OK. So you can't readjust, given information.

                      I will follow your advice, and at the next bbq when I see Stats NZ, I will reiterate my disgust at their definition of 'Employed' just like Labour did when it was employed by Paula Bennett. Yet, here we are, still using it.

                    • Louis

                      Good for you. It is your choice whether you want to believe Stats NZ or not. I just posted what Stats NZ published.

              • Patricia Bremner

                Yes Sabine in 1999 we had zero hour contracts.

          • Craig Hall 12.2.1.1.2

            Yes and yes. That's why underutilisation is at least important a metric as unemployment.

    • left for dead 12.3

      yes to Stuart.

  13. Corey Humm 13

    I admire you brother and sisters who still have faith.

    I can't what nonsense, no doctors telling her she's saved more lives than they ever will, maybe last year but this year with poverty rising, suicides rising inflation rents getting insane and expert advice being ignored … She's dreaming. The healthcare workers are angry.

    Her idea of a labour government in her own words sounds a lot like a national government. She didn't mention class in her idea of what a good labour government is about…

    The bottom 50% of NZ have two % of the wealth yet she doesn't mention class because she has no concept of it other than vague abstract notions of poverty she's seen as a babysitter and through spreadsheets. She doesn't know what it's like to go without. She doesn't get it.

    The benefit rises are nothing with food prices and rent and power prices the way are….

    This was rubbish.

    If not now for labour when. The answer, never. Never labour is never going to take poverty or housing seriously and never again will anyone believe them when they say they'd do something if only they had a majority.

    I really wanna like her but if thr leader of the labour party can't bring herself to mention class when people are doing it this tough then theres no bloody hope.

    There's just no point in voting.

    And this prime minister… Muldoon, Clark, Lange, Key, Peter's would have rubbished these hecklers made fun of them, got a laugh and a applause for it, instead she let's them highjack it and cancels the presser, not once not twice but three times and this is the speech she gives… Many of her parties voters, poor people are antivax going down crazy conspiracy holes and may die and we get this…

    We band of buggered.

    Four years in everything's getting worse

    Honestly this speech was awful. It just made me never wanna vote again… I can close my eyes and see key giving it.

    Neoliberal NZ will always have it's way.

    What's it gonna take 70% owning 2% ? 80%? 90%?

    We're going back to the preindustrial age, serfs and the landed gentry.

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